Auckland Hospital Visitor Diagnosed with Measles

Auckland Hospital Visitor Diagnosed with Measles

A person who recently returned from overseas has been diagnosed with measles after visiting the Auckland City Hospital emergency department in New Zealand. The individual arrived at the hospital on the evening of September 17 and was quickly isolated. Public health officials are now working with the hospital to identify individuals who may have come into contact with the contagious individual.

Close contacts who were in the emergency department at the time of the person’s visit will be informed of their potential exposure and provided with advice on immunity, vaccination, and quarantine. Furthermore, the individual also visited Bake & Beans, a bakery in Takanini, for approximately 15 minutes on September 12, while infectious.

Measles symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, watery pink eyes, and a blotchy rash. There is a risk of infection for anyone who was at the bakery for up to an hour after the infected individual’s visit. Public health officials have identified a small number of close contacts at the person’s home and workplace.

It is worth noting that the person was not contagious when they initially arrived in New Zealand earlier in September. Authorities are urging anyone who was present at the bakery during the specified times to monitor themselves for measles symptoms.

If someone has been in close contact with the diagnosed individual and has not received two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, or is not immune due to age or previous infection, they will be required to quarantine at home.

Auckland City Hospital’s clinical director, Dr. Lavinia Perumal, emphasized that the priority is to prevent further transmission of the virus. If individuals experience symptoms, they are advised to contact their family doctors or general practitioners for guidance rather than visiting healthcare providers in person.

The diagnosed individual is the third measles case in Auckland so far in 2023. The two previous cases were also related to overseas travel. Perumal highlighted the importance of ensuring that individuals traveling abroad have received their MMR vaccines to prevent the reintroduction of the virus into the country.

MMR vaccines are provided free of charge to anyone under 18 years old and all New Zealand residents aged 18 and above. More information about vaccination and how to book an appointment can be found on the Te Whatu Ora website.

– Te Whatu Ora website (URL)
– Auckland City Hospital (URL)

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